LinuxBIOS Questions.....

Eric W. Biederman ebiederman at
Mon Oct 21 22:44:01 CEST 2002

Mark Weinstein <mark at> writes:

> Eric,
> Can you help me?  I was reading an article about the LinuxBIOS and had a few
> questions.  Your name was at the bottom of the article, so I thought I would
> drop you a line.  I hope you don¹t mind and if you do, please disregard this
> message.  :)  Bear with me here... I am new to the whole LinuxBIOS thing and
> am having a hard time trying to find answers.

Asking on the LinuxBIOS list is probably the best way, questions and some
answers forwarded there.
> 1)  I use Linux boxes in a clustering environment and would LOVE to have the
> nodes boot themselves without having to load images from the network, etc.
> Is this doable?

Personally I think booting from a local hard driver is a less
manageable way to do things. I have booted a 1000 node cluster over
the network in under a minute. 

But there is support for booting from a hard drive.
> 2)  I use a RedHat 2.4.18 based kernel with quite a few kernel mods.  How
> much space is on the DOC (is it 8mb?) and will the OS fit on it?

The DOC has 8MByte of space, yes.  I don't use it and I don't see the
need you can load a kernel from other places.  And in fact I consider
it a poor choice for any but an embedded user to hard code their
kernel, into the ROM.
> 3)  If the answer to #2 is yes, then can you reflash the chips from a server
> or some other machine and then have them reboot without taking the machines
> apart each time?

Yes.  Though I try and keep reflashing down to just BIOS upgrades and
not kernel upgrades.  
> 4)  If you can coot the OS from he chip, how do you have access to all of
> your libraries, etc?  Would you simply mount SOME file shares with libraries
> and apps via NFS?
> I am VERY interested in building some servers with LinuxBIOS, but I am also
> very confused.  :)  Any help you can give me would be GREATLY
> appreciated!

Talk to the other people on the list.  I have provided the answers I
can, but you are coming from an extremely different perspective than
I am.


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